Flight 2 Interview: Popimage Hulabaloo

Talks with Flight artists, as well as reviews of related books...
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J.ELLIS
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Post by J.ELLIS » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:31 pm

yeah - at least 2 or 3 pages for each person

any extra pics you want added - like stuff mentioned in regards to other projects - just let me know

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Post by Nofret » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:31 pm

I could send a sample page or panel of Horus if you'd like...are you sure you're going to have enough space for all that material?

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Post by J.ELLIS » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:15 pm

i'll be braking this all up so it's not too big - look at how the joe casey and grant morrison interviews on my frontpage are broken up to get an example: http://www.popimage.com

i'll add whatever ever you like - this goes for everyone - if you have anything specific you'd like added to appear with your answers then let me know and i'll make sure it's added

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Post by Ryansias » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:36 pm

cool beans! i'll sent you a kimlby cartoon.... should i email it to you or post it here?

and are you getting pages from Kazu or should i send you my flight page?

Thanks
Ryan
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bannister
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Post by bannister » Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:54 am

General Q’s:
1) How did you get involved with Flight?

My girlfriend saw the add in the Previews, and ordered it. Then I went to the forum. It was a very few people forum, wich is good to talk. I decided to post some drawings, people were very receptive, they criticized my work in a good way, to make me evolve in my work. It was easy for me to talk with them because they were here often and very open. Not like all the other forums I've posted in, who are very crowded and where no one pays attention at you. And then Kazu wrote me a little mail to invite me to contribute to Flight. That' it.

2) Tell us about your story and what inspired it?

First I make an action story, written by a friend. It was some kind of french car chase with a Miyazaki style (for the action) chara design was fun, with people with big heads. But it wasn't a very personnal story, and not very questionning. Kazu talked to me about that and we had a long discussion about making my own story and stuff. So I decided to redo a whole new story from scratch, I wrote it in one day and draw it in one week. It was hard but i'm very proud of it because it's the first story I write on my own. I'm not a writer so it's hard for me to come up with a good idea. It's an autobiographical story. The whole world will know how i met my girlfriend. I don't know how to feel with that... :?

3) One of strongest things the Flight anthology has going for it is its sense of community in drawing so many creative people from different walks of life all under one banner. How has this implication of convergence influenced you or affected your work?
Like I said, people here are very talky about the stuff we do for the anthology. Everyone give their advice and it's great. It helped me to focus on the important point of my work and on the lacks i have too. There is soem kind of "positive crit" way of working that I love here. It's like "yes it's it's good but it should be better if you try to do this this way or that way" it's not " err...no. It's not working, it's not good." There is a creative energy that push you further and makes you do better things, I like that. If it's done with diplomacy, it's can bring very nice results.

4) How do you feel your piece contributes to the overall quality and diversity of this book? [And just so you know – you all have something very distinct about your styles and your stories that make you perfect for being involved with Flight.
I don't know... I'm just trying to do my best and be honest. I don't like to show off. I just want to do something fun and entertaining, at my level, for people who wants to spend a good time with a book.

5) What’s next for you following Flight? [Note-use this Q to pimp yourself to your hearts content – be sure to mention any websites or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote
I'm waiting for the answer of a french publisher, that will allow me a job for almost 3 years (3 books to do). I'm planning a story with one of the Flight collaboraor too. It'll be fun, I hope we'll come up with something soon. And i've got some more projects heren in France, independant or not. And of course, I still have my freelance job in case no one of these project will come up.



personnal Q's :
Bonjour Bannister. Or do you prefer Nikko now?

Hi, Bannister is good. I'ts my work name.

What sort of differences do you notice between working for a European market vs. North American? Do you have a preference?

For now I can't really compare because in France I used to work with a big publishing company and in US I only deal with Kazu. The big difference I see is that in US, there is no problem with making independant comics with cool and catchy designs. People are very open minded and won't say "it's well drawn, it can't be an independant comic". You guys like minis and homemade books, we don't here. i don't know why. It's starting to change but it's still very current. It's some sort of dogma "big commercial comics must be beautiful and expensive and independant stuff have to be black&White and unreadable". Flight is changing that, in some way.



How has Manga influenced your work?

I started drawing when I was a kid with comics, and then, in the early nineties I completely change with the appearance of Manga. I draw 100% manga style during some years and then i changed again, finding an hybrid style with european style. It's still changing from time to time but it's stabilizing. I've got some different drawing styles, manga is one of them but it's not the one I prefer because it's too limitated in the emotionnal expressions for me. From manga, I keep, exagerated behaviours, motions and pace (when i have to do an action sequence for example).

These days is your work more veered towards illustration projects?
Not really, I do illustrations for my freelance job but I most prefer making comics. I'm on comics projects these days, in France and US. For the first time, I'm making a commision comic (in France), it's quite weird to do because I'm only a part of the chain. I don't control anything, it's a little bit frustrating but it's freelance job. Good experience. Illustration is great but when i do to much I miss telling a story. Illustration is great, but it won't tell you stories for more than a minute. Comic will come along with you for 10 or 20 min, and you will remember it. It will speak to you. Illustration can't do that. But don't misunderstand me, I love illustration, heh. :-)

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Post by J.ELLIS » Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:36 pm

Johanne:

some followup q's for you:

I love history in general, and all countries and civilisations have wonderful stories. But anything from ancient Egypt has the strongest hold on me. It's an old fascination. There are also the old Faery lore’s of northern Europe.


FOLLOWUP: Is it the visuals of these beings that intrigues you or the stories themselves?


FOLLOWUP: Your art style leans to a very animation inspired style, have you attempted taking your stories to an existence on film instead of paper?

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Post by J.ELLIS » Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:45 pm

Bannister

thanks for chiming in - here's a few follow-up Q's

FOLLOWUP: Who are some of your inspirations from manga and European art that have moved you to develop your own style?

FOLLOWUP: A lot of people who follow BD are lucky because many of the quality works being produced in French aren’t getting translated for an English speaking audience, at least not quickly. Is there anything you’ve seen lately that’s been attracting your interest?

FOLLOWUP: Can you tell us about the three books you hope to be working on? Will this be a trilogy series?

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Post by J.ELLIS » Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:17 pm

Jake

Thanks for chiming in as well Jake, here's some specific Q's for you:

Now Jake, I look at your stuff and wonder why you don’t have your own series with Image or Dark Horse yet, but then, you’ve got a sweet job. Is producing your own comics something you’re leaning towards or is it just short stories for now?

Speaking of short stories, you’ve got a few of your ideas on your site, of which, most look ready to be pitched as an animated property. Are you working with ReelFX to make any original productions?

For those interested, what do your duties as art director at ReelFX Creative Studios entail?

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Post by bannister » Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:31 pm

FOLLOWUP: Who are some of your inspirations from manga and European art that have moved you to develop your own style?
Wow, the tricky question…

Japan : Katsuhiro Otomo, Miyazaki (for the Nausicaa books), Naoki Urasawa, mitsuru Adachi, Yoshihisa Tagami, Leiji Matsumoto, there’s a lot more but I won’t write them all here. I choose to tell the most known of them.
European : Cavazzano (Disney artist in Italy), Mezieres (Valerian), Lewis trondheim, Dupuis&Berberian(MrJean, and illustrations), Emile Bravo (Jules, and his illustrations), Franquin(Spirou, Gaston lagaffe), Franq le Gall(Theodore Poussin), Janry(Spirou), Jerome Jouvray, and a lot more too.

FOLLOWUP: A lot of people who follow BD are lucky because many of the quality works being produced in French aren’t getting translated for an English speaking audience, at least not quickly. Is there anything you’ve seen lately that’s been attracting your interest?

Production of BDs here is too important for the market, almost ten books out a day (including manga and reprints), so it’s almost impossible to read all. But few are very good and interesting, you can’t miss it. I would say, the books of Fabien Vehlmann ( a writer), Bajram’s Universal War One, Leo’s Aldebaran & Betelgeuse, Guarnido’s Blacksad, frederik Peeters ‘s books, Jouvray’s La Region & Lincoln.

FOLLOWUP: Can you tell us about the three books you hope to be working on? Will this be a trilogy series?

No I said three because I hope to sign up for three books. It’s the time we need to place our universe properly and to catch the readers. One book is not enough. With three books here, you can see if the audience follow. This story will be quite long, I don’t now how much, I’m not the writer. It’s about kids that discover an alternate world (nothing new so far). The grand father of one of them used to travel this world for 50 years but didn’t tell anybody about. There will be some fantasy in it and a big social part, wich is kinda new in fantasy. The way the kids grew up in our world will influence on the way they act in this new world. The rest of the story is secret for now, sorry. :) It has childrens as heroes but it’s an all ages story.

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Post by agent44 » Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Here you go:

Now Jake, I look at your stuff and wonder why you don’t have your own series with Image or Dark Horse yet, but then, you’ve got a sweet job. Is producing your own comics something you’re leaning towards or is it just short stories for now?

It's mostly short stories for now. I have several ideas that would make for a good series or graphic novel, it's just a matter of timing. I really enjoy my day job and well, it pays the bills too, so I'm just taking things as they come. Flight has been a dream come true because I can have my cake and eat it too. I can't commit to anything too pressing because my work can have an unexpected schedule at times. But with Flight I can do a short story on my own schedule and hopefully get some more awareness out there for my work.

Speaking of short stories, you’ve got a few of your ideas on your site, of which, most look ready to be pitched as an animated property. Are you working with ReelFX to make any original productions?

We've tossed things around from time to time. The studio has some big properties that they're investing time and money into right now so they're mostly focused on those. But they like to keep their finger on the pulse of what's out there and what ideas the employees might have.

For those interested, what do your duties as art director at ReelFX Creative Studios entail?

An art director at Reel FX is responsible for the look of the project. In the past two years I've been here I've worked on commercials, animated shorts, straight to video, television and features. Doing everything from storyboards, conceptualizing, animatics, and some rough editing. Because it's a smaller company everyone wears a lot more hats. The plus is that you get to have a bigger part in decision making and the creative proccess. Latley, I've sort of found a nitch as a story guy which has been a lot of fun, coming up with ideas and storyboarding them. It's been very rewarding.

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Post by Nofret » Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:47 pm

FOLLOWUP: Is it the visuals of these beings that intrigues you or the stories themselves?

I'd say both. It's one thing to imagine what these beings may look like when reading the stories, but to see how people in the past pictured them is also fascinating and a source of inspiration.

FOLLOWUP: Your art style leans to a very animation inspired style, have you attempted taking your stories to an existence on film instead of paper?

Hehe, I can't seem to shake off the style I picked up from years of work in animation. I've been corrupted ;)
About two years ago, I was friend with a studio director and he invited me to pitch the Horus project to him. I didn't feel quite ready at the time, and prefered to continue developing the stories and characters on paper. The studio has unfortunately pretty much closed operation now. I think I'd be ready to try again, but I'd try to update the look of the characters a bit.

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Post by J.ELLIS » Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:11 pm

Jake

FOLLOWUP: Is there anything you're particularly proud of from your work in film and television you'd like our readers to seek out?

FOLLOWUP: Tell us about the Agent 44 art digest, will this be a continous project with new volumes for when convention season rolls around?


EVERYONE:

Thanks all for participating - we're just about done - so if there's anything specific not mentioned here that you'd like to make sure gets included with the int - just say so

best
Jonathan Ellis
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Post by becky » Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:15 pm

Here's the follow up Q's!

Since you brought up tatt flash pages as an influence, are there any specific artists you’re into?

I don't have many artists that I follow, mostly I just like old school, marentine and straight edge designs. I have a lot of fun taking classic designs and putting a spin on them.

Style. With Demo, each story had its own style to it and with your Flight contribution you seem to depart from the sort of work you did there. Is style something you find you’re constantly developing or do you try to go with what feels right when approached with a specific project?

I'm asked the style question a lot, and it's always really difficult to answer. I've always pushed myself in different directions, depending on what inspires me, and what the project I'm working on calls for. I approach everything I do from different angles, trying learn new ways of doing things. With Flight, somebody had suggested that I try drawing a comic like I would draw a flyer, or a tattoo. Since I do a lot of those anyway, I thought it was a really cool idea to play around with.

With the Dracula project you’ve been using brushes and ink, are you at the point where you trust it enough to go straight from blank page to ink or do you still do roughs in pencil?

I doubt I'll ever be able to go straight to ink! I really need guidelines. My pencils are usually pretty rough though, much to my editor's dismay.

Do you grow up influenced by stuff like Dracula? Your dark and heavy lines was certainly what drew me to your art when I first saw it those many years ago, but back then it was more of a 'punk' or 'Paul Pope-ish' thing to do, but when you've got a project with Gary Reed and start making references to the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari... that tends to raise an eyebrow.

Old exprissionists films were the major inspiration for my earlier comics. The stark black and white look, sense of urgency and direction impressed me so much that I started drawing comics, I don't think their influence on me has left. I have a lot of different influences, but for Dracula it just makes sense to go back to my roots!

When is comes to using zipatone, do you find it acts as an enhancer to the page or does it ever get to the point where you find yourself relying on it?

I try only to use zip as an enhancer, but when I draw a comic that I know will use tone then I will plan out how to tone it as I draw each one, that way there isn't much wasted energy on the page. I would never rely on tone though.

Will these forthcoming graphic novels be with Ait/PlanetLar as well?

Dracula is being released by Penguin Books/Puffin Classics, and East Coast Rising is being published by Tokyopop. I would definately love to work with Ait again, but for now I am trying to work with different people and publishers.
life aint nothin but comics and money

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Post by J.ELLIS » Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:45 am

thanks Becky - here's some follow-up's then that should be it:

The stark black and white look, sense of urgency and direction impressed me so much that I started drawing comics, I don't think their influence on me has left.


FOLLOWUP: So can we count you as another fan of Maya Deren turned comic creator?

FOLLOWUP: Could you tell us a little about East Coast Rising? And to come back to style again, will you be adapting at all for TokyoPop? Though personally, I think TokyoPop publishing something by you while retaining your own distinctive style would really speak well for them as a publisher and show your work can have a wide reaching appeal without having to express a more traditional manga flavour.
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